In recent weeks Megyn Kelly has received an abundance of media attention thanks to Donald Trump’s “sick obsession“ with the Fox News host. Regardless of her strident biases and disregard for journalistic ethics, the personal attacks on her by Trump are unwarranted and offensive. They demonstrate Trump’s inbred misogyny and unfitness for any public office. Even though Kelly herself has exploited her sex appeal to boost her ratings (and income), that is no excuse for Trump’s vile chauvinism.
This morning Hillary Clinton appeared on “The View” (video below) and addressed this topic with some potent and well-deserved criticism of Trump. She astutely pointed out that throughout his campaign he has “insulted everybody” and “demeaned everybody,” and has generally engaged in behavior that is divisive and rife with “hateful rhetoric.” She said in part…
“You know, he started, on his very first day, saying that all Mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals, right? And then he moved on to attack people with disabilities. He attacked John McCain, who’s a friend of mine, and said he wasn’t really a war hero. And then, of course, going after American Muslims and really drawing these lines.”
That’s a pretty good summary of Trump’s stump speech bigotry so far. Although she left out some significant moments like his embrace of the white supremacists who endorsed him, his acknowledgment that he isn’t bothered by being compared to Hitler, and his more recent position that women should be punished for having abortions. But Clinton should have left it at that. Unfortunately, she went on to say…
“And his attitude about, and what he has said about, so many women – the way he treated Megyn Kelly, who is a suburb journalist, right?”
No, that’s not right. Not by a long shot. Megyn Kelly is one of the most dangerous propagandists on a network that is crawling with them. She is brazenly partisan and shamelessly prejudiced. She is a more visually compelling version of conspiratorialist Glenn Beck. The stories she features are a collection of partisan tripe and manufactured outrages that have little basis in fact. From her near-obsession with the irrelevant New Black Panther Party, to her defense of an anti-Islam filmmaker as a “patsy” of the Obama administration, Kelly has been a non-stop, gushing flow of disinformation and gossip.
Kelly has, in fact, been especially vicious in her coverage of Clinton. She has spent countless hours asserting, without foundation, that Clinton lied about Benghazi. She aired numerous fact-free segments alleging that Clinton’s emails would land her in jail. She even went after Clinton on trivial pop culture matters like her interview with Lena Dunham. For more examples:
- Kelly promulgated false accusations against then-Pennsylvania senate candidate Joe Sestak
- Kelly asserted that Americans have “gotta get a little squeamish” about the prospect of being killed by drones.
- Kelly told her colleague Bill O’Reilly that pepper spray used against student protesters was just “a food product, essentially.”
- Kelly moderated a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts” that were cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release.
- Kelly featured a disreputable reporter with a history of violence (who was later arrested for sexually assaulting a four year old girl) in her frequent attacks on the funders of the Islamic Center that Fox derisively referred to as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”
- Kelly misrepresented the results of a Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll to argue that Democrats are defying the will of the people.
- Kelly helped to cover up the extra-marital affair of GOP senator John Ensign and failed to disclose her personal involvement in the story.
There is nothing wrong with Clinton holding Trump accountable for his noxious comments and ludicrous political positions. She is totally justified in castigating him for the pattern of hatred he exhibits toward women and others. However, it was completely unnecessary to throw a solicitous compliment to Kelly that she so clearly does not deserve. Clinton could easily make the point that Trump is a sexist pig without boosting the profile of a professional right-wing purveyor of disinformation. Would Clinton defend Sarah Palin from a sexist attack by praising her as a superb governor? We can only hope not. And while neither Palin nor Kelly should be subject to gender-based insults, neither should they be showered with false flattery in the process of defending them against jerkwads like Donald Trump.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.